Book 10: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan’s ‘Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist’

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But I guess you don’t see the planet when you’re staring at the sun.

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Book Nine: How To Be Good by Nick Hornby

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That’s the trouble, isn’t it? You were human all the time. You just forgot.

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The Pursuit of (Unwarranted) Feelings

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Blue Valentine, 2010

The voice in your head sings a Bonnie Raitt classic in Justin Vernon’s voice. You didn’t like it, didn’t want it, didn’t fight it. Sometimes, it seems like to ask how can love both be the boon and bane of your existence is rhetorical, or maybe even pointless. That at the beginning, when everything is all coated with sugar and where rainbows never disappear, that sense of euphoria can easily be thwarted by a sudden realization that he does not love you back.

He does not love you back.

And funny how these realizations present themselves in forms that might seem too trivial at first when you think about it. Say, a girl holding his hand. And him holding it back. They glance at each other, and you know that unmistakable look of love to ever suggest otherwise. You know it, because that’s how you look at him.

He does not look back.

You read Conchitina Cruz. It dawns upon you that every word she ever written are like salt on your wound. But you read them anyway until they hurt you so much, so much you get numbed by the pain. Your fear of writing your own words and reading them back to yourself feels like a betrayal. You’d rather read your feelings from someone else’s words. The weight of yours are unbearable. Why? Because then your pain would not be fiction.

Your pain isn’t fiction.

You only hope that time does it job and fly. Until the past gets behind you, wears you out, and ceases to hurt you.

Hurt. Hurt. Hurt.

How do you stop pursuing the love that evades you? You see the glaring evidence of the absence of reciprocity. The thrill of the chase is now completely gone. Your dreams and hopes and chances have reached their deadlock. There are no detours, no once-overs, no starting over again. You just get through it. Probably with lots of liquor and sob writing. Like this one.

Exactly like this one.

You see him again. The distance between you is what keeps you apart. Always. You can utter any word, and he wouldn’t hear. The wind will carry those words far away. But no matter. You’ll say them anyway.

And this is what you say:

“How do I unlove you?”

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RAVE: Best New Finds

Thank goodness this hectic week is over.

Ta-ku – “Drive Slow, Homie Pt. III”

The third installment to the wildly popular playlist curated by electronic musician, Ta-ku, for HYPETRAK. It includes “90bpm summer headnodders, 70bpm soul jams, and 130bpm jersey heaters.”

How To Dress Well – “Words I Don’t Remember”

Tom Krell is back wreaking havoc on all of our feelings (damn those falsettos).

Teen Daze – “Tokyo Winter”

Teen Daze’s spectrum of music is so acute to one’s reflective state and is incredibly perceptive.

Ball Park Music – “She Only Loves Me When I’m There”

Justin Timberlake – “Suit & Tie (Two Inch Punch rework)”

I can’t anymore.

Doja Cat – “So High”

S-U-M-M-E-R.

RL Grime and What So Not – “Tell Me”

That wonky horns. THAT wonky horns.

Skrillex f/ Chance The Rapper – “Coast is Clear”

The best thing about this Skrillex’s debut album, Recess, is the wide range of sound it offers. Primarily, it’s dubstep (duh), but collaborations from several names including Diplo, The Ragga Twins, G-Dragon, CL (of K-Pop super group, 2NE1), Chance The Rapper, among others enhanced the quality and variety of this album, not just sonically, but in multiple aspects as well. Now, dubstep might not be for everybody, but Skrillex remains to be the face of this glitchy, serrated, and steep industrial genre. One that you cannot just ignore and pretend that does not exist.

SBTRKT – “Resolute”

SBTRKT has a new EP out called TRANSITIONS which you can stream on his SoundCloud page.

Banks – “Brain”

This girl hasn’t let me down yet. I doubt she will.

Childish Gambino – “What Kind of Love”

Donald Glover is my favorite nerd. And I meant ‘nerd’ as a term of respect, a compliment. His work as Childish Gambino is something I admire (despite everything), and I truly believe he is as good as a blues/ballad musician as he is as a hiphop artist.

And also, did I mention I loved when he was cast in Girls? Hope I see more of him in that show.

Throwing in some relatively old tracks that I discovered only recently (midnight favorites):

Bastille – “Of The Night”

Mokhov – “Midnight Love”

BONUS:

Up Dharma Down released five(!) songs that you can download for FREE on their website. Do check out the snazzy “New World”, the acoustic version of “Hiwaga”, two songs from previous campaign ads (Coca-Cola and McDonald’s) and my personal favorite among the bunch, their cover of Nirvana’s “Something In The Way.”

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My SoundCloud page

Hit The Road: Songs For The Daily Commute

A large chunk of my day is spent on the road. My daily commute when I was in college—and later on, to and from work—was no less than two hours. The traffic is usually bad, often monstrous and hopeless during rush hour. It’s not the same case, though, when it comes to road trips; say, going up north or down south, taking the expressway away from cursed EDSA.

Whichever the case, I make sure I have my iPod with me. Hours of our lives should not go to a complete waste; I find that music can be a diversion, or much better, a great stress reliever. Some songs just fit the bill. Whether or not they were purposely made for driving, there’s fun that can be found listening to them while stuck in traffic. A long drive with accompanying music often makes the journey worth your while.

Peach” is my favorite track from Identikit‘s Out of the Floodways and Into Your Homes. It conjures up sensations like the breeze kissing your cheeks or the sun warming up the world, begging you to embark on a new adventure.

There is something romantic about the idea of driving miles, through toll gates and traffic, just so you can show up at your beloved’s doorstep. Despite the impracticality, many of us women still find this gesture chivalrous. Why not cross the distance in a better mood by firing this up on your car stereo while on your way there?

This track brims with sweet summer feelings—even nostalgia. If you are planning to hit the beach this summer (of course you are), you might as well get perked up by putting on “Tongue Tied” and singing along.

You’re coming back from your weekend rendezvous, and it didn’t turn out as well as you thought. Play this in the background, and you might feel less sulky and just a little more likely to shimmy to this song’s infectious riffs instead.

harana fit for the expressway, this song is. Listen to it, because why not?

I associate road trips with life. There’s a certain philosophy that I believe can be found in the trivial act of driving; not to mention the practice of weaving patience out of nowhere (for traffic situations of biblical proportions) Maybe I’m just trying to be poetic; maybe this Valetparking song just reminds me that wherever we go and no matter how long it takes us to get there, the prospect of seeing the people we love is always worth it.

Carlo Lava’s pop rock flavored music can rouse your system just as good as coffee can. After all, who wouldn’t want to pair his or her morning cup of coffee with a good morning track, instead of the hoots and blares of bus horns?

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RAVE: “Catch The Throne” The Mixtape: Game of Thrones

As if Game of Thrones cannot get any better (and cooler), HBO commissioned a mixtape for the hit and critically acclaimed series, via Launch Point Records. A MIXTAPE. Sounds ostensible in writing, but it really does exist. And it works. All of 10 tracks open with lines borrowed from storylines of all three seasons. The show represents strong themes of conflict, power, grave wit, and different forces at play. The idea of creating this mixtape to capture those themes within the context of music is a stroke of genius.

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RAVE: Best Music Finds

Still from 2NE1′s “Come Back Home” music video

It’s been a really good kind of crazy since February started. January started slow for me, pretty uneventful but good. Last month, however, was a blast (understatement). I celebrated my 24th birthday in Clark, attended the first 7107 International Music Festival – thanks to Luis (of Maude –  a local band you should definitely check out). I had a very awesome birthday surprise and a lot of amazing things that deserve an entirely different post. Although the huge downside was that my uncle suffered from TIA, or commonly known as a mild stroke caused by his hypertension. He’s been discharged a few days ago and I’m pretty busy practicing my BSN degree (always handy) and be his nurse. Like I said, first two months of this year? Crazy.

Anyway, I’ve listened to a whole lot of music since then and discovered new acts/bands from 7107, as well as the Internet (of course). Here are some of my favorites:

tricot - “おちゃんせんすぅす”

A Japanese math rock band. These girls rock (pun intended and lazy writing). They have an album called “T H E”. Favorites: 初耳, art sick, and タラッタラッタ.

Up Dharma Down – “New World”

Like dancing on clouds.

ScHoolboy Q – “Break The Bank”

Applause for Top Dawg Entertainment for being the Internet-age Death Row Records. I’m too excited for Black Hippy’s release (simultaneously stoked for labelmate Kendrick Lamar’s album this year). Definitely a single material from Oxymoron. Mad respect.

Evian Christ – “Waterfall”

Assaulting, but strangely engaging. His most jagged and thumping work to date. I was not surprised when Kanye West signed him to G.O.O.D Music for production work, but hopefully as an artist as well. This guy’s got a great range of sound.

Posse – “Shut Up”

Not what I expected from a track that beckons you to shut your trap. The surprise is good.

Lykke Li – “Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone”

If the title doesn’t give you a hint, then you are made of…

Big K.R.I.T f/ Rick Ross – “New Agenda”

Man, I haven’t heard from Big K.R.I.T since Live From The Underground. With a new album on the way, this track with the Teflon Don looks like it’s worth the wait.

Movement – “Like Lust”

I’ve noticed a pattern in Movement’s releases. But I’m not complaining. This is body music.

Tycho – “Dye”

Discovered them yesterday and again I wonder, “Where have you been all my life?”

Real Estate – “Crime”

All I can say is, I’ve fallen asleep listening to this track (and the rest of the album) for two nights in a row. It’s definitely not out of boredom, but how this amazing album conveys a deep sense of something that is inexplicable, only thing I know is that it’s stunningly beautiful.

2NE1 – “Come Back Home”

I can’t even verbalize well enough how ecstatic I was when I downloaded 2NE1′s new album, Crush. These girls are unstoppable. This is one of the standout tracks and it’s not hard to see why. The infusion of pop and reggae, plus that bass drop – too much to handle.

Arctic Monkeys – “Arabella”

My death certificate reads, “Cause of death: Alex Turner.”

Kid Ink – “Tattoo Of My Name”

One of my favorite discoveries from 7107. This guy can definitely put on a show. His hooks are memorable and the guy’s got great flow.

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Albums to download:

  • ScHoolboy Q – Oxymoron
  • Cibo Matto - Hotel Valentine
  • Pharrell Williams - G I R L
  • St. Vincent – St. Vincent
  • Tycho - Awake
  • 2NE1 - Crush
  • Real Estate - Atlas
  • Kid Ink - My Own Lane
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Mixtape: None Left For Tears (A Breakup Mixtape)

I was in no way going to pass up on an excuse to watch and listen to all the sappiness humanity can offer when ‘love month’ arrives. More so, it’s my birthday month. I’ve compiled dozens of playlists over the years using a recurring theme: heartbreak. The pain and suffering wrapped up, confined in every chord, every line, every pause in between appeal to me more than the bliss of falling in love (more like, falling in a ravine). While browsing an article after another, I read a particularly good piece titled ‘Top Ten Best Songs About Breaking Up’ and I thought the songs in it were some sort of reminder of a latent heartache experienced over the years. So I compiled everything from that list into one mixtape. Most of the songs in it, I haven’t heard before. Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon did a cover of Bonnie Raitt’s classic, “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” something I’ve listened to a while back. Damn that guy, and damn failed relationships. I rest my case.

By the way, the mixtape’s title is from a line from Wong Kar-wai’s Chungking Express. Talk about kicking you in the teeth, huh.

Download it here.

Tracklist:

  • “Every Little Hair Knows Your Name” by Jens Lekman
  • “Things I’ll Later Lose” by Lily & Madeleine
  • “A Case of You” by Joni Mitchell
  • “Shiver” by Lucy Rose
  • “I Can’t Make You Love Me (Cover)” by Bon Iver
  • “Hope There’s Someone” by Antony and the Johnsons
  • “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys
  • “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” by Wilco
  • “New Romantic” by Laura Marling
  • “You Must Be Out of Your Mind” by The Magnetic Fields

Photos used are screenshots from the film.

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Book Eight: Last Order Sa Penguin by Chris Martinez

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SWEET: Parang ang sarap-sarap ng kuwentuhan ninyo kanina ng mga barkada mo, ah. Ano ba’ng pinag-uusapan ninyo?

TOXQS: Kung ano-ano. Mga problema sa buhay.

SWEET: Problema ba ‘yun? E ba’t tawa kayo ng tawa?

TOXQS: Ano bang ginagawa sa problema?

SWEET: Oo nga naman.

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